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ahosey01

Highest Extreme Minimums in the Desert Southwest

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ahosey01

I have recently been doing more research on extreme lows down here in the desert southwest after having purchased a home in Wickenburg, Arizona and finding that it does - actually - get meaningfully colder in the winter than Phoenix.

One question I am curious about - what city in the desert southwest (not Imperial Beach or Avalon in California, but in the desert) has the highest extreme minimums?  I know this isn't 100% accurate since microclimates may influence these numbers one way or the other.  But it looks like the weather station in Lake Havasu City shows an all-time minimum low of 25, which is barely lower than the all-time minimum in Miami, Florida:

Lake Havasu City, AZ:
image.thumb.png.436c18cc5e4cde34f9cb2844d6613d1e.png

Miami, FL:

image.thumb.png.7b72942f4d07a78471cf8a97ce82f791.png

Let me know your thoughts!

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kinzyjr

I doesn't Lake Havasu, but Laughlin, NV has always been my pick of places to live out west.

202007131715_Laughlin_NV.png

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palmsOrl

I thought I recalled reading of low temperatures as high as 100F recorded in Death Valley, CA.

I just checked Wikipedia and it cites a record high low temperature of 110F, recorded on July 5, 1918.  This record, however, is apparently disputed and the record low high of 107F recorded on July 12, 2012 is considered the reliable record.

Also interesting, according to Wikipedia, Furnace Creek, Death Valley, CA recorded a surface temperature of 201F on July 15, 1972.  This is the only time a surface temperature above 200F has been recorded.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Valley

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greysrigging

The  Australian record is 36.9c ( 98.4f ) set up in the 'çorner country' where the state borders of SA, NSW and QLD meet. Wanaaring holds the record with a couple of other locales nearby also about 97f-98f.
I read somewhere in the Middle East ( Quriyat Oman  ) only dropped down to 42.6c ( 108,7f ) a couple of years ago !

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palmsOrl

The Oman record doesn't surprise me, I figured the Middle East must challenge Death Valley in that regard.

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ahosey01

This is all interesting stuff, but I was actually more curious where the all time low was the highest.

For example, near as I can tell, the all time low in Lake Havasu was 25. The all time low in Palm Springs was 19, and the all time low in Wickenburg was 10.  Curious if there are any desert towns that have never got below freezing.

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, ahosey01 said:

This is all interesting stuff, but I was actually more curious where the all time low was the highest.

For example, near as I can tell, the all time low in Lake Havasu was 25. The all time low in Palm Springs was 19, and the all time low in Wickenburg was 10.  Curious if there are any desert towns that have never got below freezing.

Only place that i can think of, in AZ would somewhere near Yuma.. though wikipedia lists their all-time low as 21F ..for two hours, in 2007. 

Besides that,  maybe Puerto Penasco?.. or some of the islands out in the Gulf ( Tiburon, for example ) south of the border.  I know places in Northern Sinaloa have seen some good -though exceptionally rare- damaging frost/freezes.. and you're well south of the northern boundary of the Dry Tropics once down there. 

Can't think of anywhere else besides what thoughts have been shared..

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palmsOrl
8 hours ago, ahosey01 said:

This is all interesting stuff, but I was actually more curious where the all time low was the highest.

For example, near as I can tell, the all time low in Lake Havasu was 25. The all time low in Palm Springs was 19, and the all time low in Wickenburg was 10.  Curious if there are any desert towns that have never got below freezing.

Yeah, any deserts in the contiguous United States (obviously the Hawaiian deserts have probably never seen below 50F (unless there are some high altitude deserts there, heck, the peak of Mauna Kea might be a technical (alpine) desert and has seen 12F, it was 32F when I was there at sunset in June 2005) are high enough in latitude to have seen all-time low temperatures below freezing.  Deserts tend to have high diurnal temperature ranges, or the difference between the high and low temperature, because dry air both gains and loses energy more efficiently than air containing a lot of water.  Physics experts, if I am off in my explanation here, please chime in.  

As a result, I would suspect that tropical deserts tend to have the lowest all-time record lows versus other climates within similar latitudes, excluding very high elevation areas.  

This makes me assume that alpine deserts are probably overall the coldest climates (excluding polar high-elevation deserts like those found in Antarctica).  Vostok, Antarctica is located in a fairly high elevation polar desert and has seen as cold as -135F.

But yes, I also recall reading that Yuma, AZ is the warmest desert in the Desert Southwest of the United States as far as all-time low temperatures.  Obviously then, one has to travel south into Mexico to find a completely frost free desert.  I would think that the closest such areas would be on or adjacent to the Gulf of California, which I believe is largely consistent of land areas with either desert of semi-desert climates (Mediterranean/Chapparal).  

Conversely, one could probably find deserts quite far south in Mexico that have recorded freezing temperatures, on account of being at a higher altitude.

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chinandega81

I believe it is Yuma. Their airport is on higher ground and the cold air drains towards the lower Colorado River. They are usually much warmer than nearby Imperial Valley, CA which is lower in elevation where cold air pools.

Phoenix seems to have the highest summertime lows with the urban heat island. Mexicali also does however it isn't reflected since their airport recording station is about 10 miles east of the city in open desert.

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SailorBold

Well cross Albuquerque off your list..and all of New Mexico for that matter.. its High...  but uhh... you can make dry ice in winter... and then you can watch it evaporate without it melting!

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Xenon

A slope with excellent air drainage near the Coachella Valley? wherever the coconuts are growing :P

 

Edited by Xenon
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